Stay: Review of the Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market
As someone who travels to Ottawa on a regular basis and collects Hyatt points, I was very excited when it was announced that Canada’s first Andaz was scheduled to open in the capital city and have subsequently stayed here every time I’ve been in the city. Located in Ottawa’s ByWard Market neighborhood and with a rooftop lounge with views of Canada’s parliament, the Andaz offers a luxurious experience that showcases Ottawa unlike most of the other hotel’s in the vicinity.
The Andaz Ottawa Byward is a category 3 hotel under the Hyatt program and has 200 rooms in a high rise style tower hotel. Guests can choose from 3 types of suites and 9 types of rooms:
- 1 King Bed (302 sq feet)
- 2 Queen Beds (302 sq feet)
- 1 King Bed Deluxe (355 to 398 sq feet)
- 1 King Bed with View (302 to 355 sq feet)
- 2 Queen Beds with View (302 to 355 sq feet)
- 1 King Bed with View Deluxe (355 to 398 sq feet)
- 1 King Bed with ADA Shower (302 sq feet)
- 1 King Bed View with ADA Shower (302 sq feet)
- ADA Suite King Shower (549 sq feet)
- 2 Queen Beds with ADA Shower (302 sq feet)
The Andaz is pet-friendly; one dog to a maximum of 50 pounds or two dogs 75 pounds combined are permitted and a nonrefundable fee of $100 is required.
There is a fitness centre with views of downtown Ottawa open 24 hours per day on the top floor with cardio machines and strength training equipment.
As for onsite dining, Feast + Revel serves as the main restaurant, coffee bar, and lobby bar. The rooftop bar, Copper Spirits and Sights opens at 16:00 daily and offers snacks and beverages.
As part of the Andaz brand, the mini bar is re-stocked with snacks and non-alcoholic beverages daily and guests are offered and served a glass of wine at check-in.
The Room: 1 King Bed Deluxe:
Each time I have stayed at the Andaz, I have been fortunate enough to be upgraded to a 1 King Bed Deluxe room. This room is perfect during business trips as it had a nice space to work in and a nice view. The styling in the room was minimalist but so stylish; the copper accents really accentuated the colors in the room and linked well with Ottawa’s history. The large walk-in closet and drawers were perfect for me to empty my suitcase.
The bathroom is equipped with a large rain shower head and stocked with Purple Urchin’s Turkish Fig products (local company). I enjoyed the toiletries so much that I visited the Purple Urchin store and stocked up on soap, candles, and moisturizer. What really made the difference for me was the bed and bedding and the heating system which was constant and silent; these two details ensured that I had adequate rest as business trips can be exhausting and it can be hard to sleep. The mini bar was also well stocked with local products and I loved the Hummingbird Chocolates (which I also stocked up on to take home).
The Room: 2 Queen Beds:
When I had someone traveling with me, I switched to a room with 2 queen beds for my last night. The amenities are the same but in 302 square feet, the room does feel a little small. Because the corner room is farther away from the elavtor and foot traffic in general, it was much quieter.
The Fitness Centre:
I use the fitness centre most mornings to wake up and it has never been crowded despite it being quite small for the size of the hotel. There are a couple of elliptical machines, treadmills and bikes and enough space to do functional training. My only critique of the fitness centre (and hotel overall) would be the small water bottles they provide; perhaps a filtered water cooler would be more appropriate and more environmentally friendly (similar to other Andaz hotels).
Dining at the Hotel:
The common areas are very nice and showcase Canadian art, so it was fun to wander the hotel and have a look at the various paintings. I also ate at Feast + Revel one evening for dinner (the octopus was out of this world) and for breakfast one day (avocado toast with poached egg), and highly recommend eating there due to the quality of the food, inventiveness of the menu, and great service/atmosphere. The lobby bar also has great local craft beers and friendly service.
On my last evening in Ottawa, I always treat myself to a cocktail at Copper Sights and Spirits even if I am not a cocktail person. Between the view, the good cocktails, and the service, it’s always a memorable experience.
The Andaz is located in the shopping and dining neighbourhood/area known as the ByWard Market and is about 3 blocks away from the main mall, the Rideau Centre. Those wanting to visit the Parliament buildings can do so within a 15 minute walk from the hotel.
The hotel is near a shelter and so some reviews note “unsavoury people” around. The shelter is around the corner and one block away. Perhaps it is is because I live in a large city but I didn’t feel unnerved or unsafe. It is easy to avoid this area if you are worried or concerned.
I used to dread having to choose a hotel to stay at in Ottawa until the Andaz opened up as the other options were either way overpriced and out of my budget or the usual sad chain hotel that hasn’t been renovated in many years with loud heaters and air conditioners. Overall, my experiences have been very consistent and representative of the Andaz brand. My biggest regret? Jason and I never got to stay here in our 3 years as Globalists to apply a suite upgrade as the account is under his name. We still have Explorist status so maybe we will try to stay here sooner than later when we visit Ottawa together.
Review based on stays in January 2017, February 2018, and December 2018.
Have you ever stayed at the Andaz Ottawa? What is your favorite hotel in Ottawa? Do you value some brands more than others when it comes to hotels?
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